Category archives: Concours & Events

Preliminary results: Porsches set pace at Gooding’s Amelia Island auction

1968 Porsche 907 "longtail"
1968 Porsche 907 “longtail” | Gooding & Co.
1959 Porsche 718 RSK   Gooding & Co.
1959 Porsche 718 RSK | Gooding & Co.

Preliminary results supplied to by Hagerty Insurance indicate  Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island auction generated $31.3 million in sales Friday. That total does not include any possible “after sale” of the cars that did not meet their reserve prices while on the block.

Hagerty’s preliminary figures show a 90-percent sell-through rate with 79 of 88 lots hammered sold. The average sales price was $395,840 (all prices include the buyer’s premium)

A pair of Porsches led the sale with a 1968 907 longtail coupe bringing $3.63 million and a 1959 718 RSK Spyder going for $3.3 million.

Nine cars, including two other Porsches, sold for $1 million or more, and a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300Sc roadster barely missed that mark, going for $990,000.

Also impressive was the fact that two Ferrari Dino’s each sold for more than $600,000.

We’ll have complete wrap-up on the sale after Gooding & Company reports its official tally of the event.

Results (preliminary) for Gooding & Company sale at Amelia Island

Overall Total: $31.3 million

79/88 lots sold: 90-percent sell-through rate

Average Sale Price: $395,840

Overall Top 10 Sales:

1.       1968 Porsche 907 Longtail Coupe sold for $3,630,000
2.       1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder sold for $3,300,000
3.       1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT Coupe sold for $2,530,000
4.       1964 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $2,035,000
5.       1958 BMW 507 Roadster sold for $1,815,000
6.       1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Henley Roadster sold for $1,430,000
7.       1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS Sport Lightweight Coupe sold for $1,402,500
8.       1956 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America sold for $1,292,500
9.       1988 Porsche 959 Sport Coupe sold for $1,100,000
10.   1955 Mercedes-Benz 300Sc Roadster sold for $990,000

2013 Overall Results

Total: $28.1M

69/71 sold: 97% sell-through rate

Average Sale Price: $408,167



Goodguys cruise Phoenix-area specialty shops

Goodguys on tour | Larry Edsall
Goodguys on tour | Larry Edsall

On the eve of their season-opening, three-day car show at the WestWorld complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., some 300 members of the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association — early arrivals and area (at least wintertime) residents — gave their rods and customs and other classics a little exercise on a tour Thursday of Phoenix-area automotive specialty shops.

The day started with registration at the WestWorld equestrian center, where real horses share the grounds a few times a year with mechanical horsepower, whether it’s cars for sale at Barrett-Jackson’s big Scottsdale auction or the horsepower produced by the thousands of cars being shown at the twice-a-year visits by the Goodguys.

Photos by Larry Edsall

The first stop on the Spring Nationals tour was a twofer since Early Iron and the Arizona School of Automotive Refinishing are nearly across the street from each other in Glendale, a northwest Phoenix suburb.

Early Iron was started by Jock Evans and his teenage son, Bruce, who has run the business since his father died six years ago.

Bruce Evans not only does amazing work — especially for a one-person effort — but he is amazingly well-organized, from the way donor vehicles and future projects (Evans may have cornered the market on 1960 Chevrolet El Caminos) are parked in a well-ordered salvage yard to an everything-in-its-place series of buildings and sheds on the property.

However, it wasn’t always that way. Just a few years ago, entering the place was like walking into a maze.

“When my Dad passed, there was sort of a path from the gate,” Bruce said. “I started organizing.”

Evans said his collection of ’60 El Caminos traces to their agreeable egress for taller drivers (Jock was 6-foot-6, Bruce is a little shorter but his legs are just as long).

Evans takes on four or five ground-up projects a year, as well as upgrades and suspension work for “a good group of customers who turn into friends.”

He does everything himself, in part because he’s been disappointed with some of the stuff he’s subcontracted.

I know they’re not my cars, but it feels like it to me.”

— Bruce Evans

“I know they’re not my cars,” he said of his demand for perfection, “but it feels like it to me.”

There’s no paint shop at Early Iron, but there is a full paint facility just across the road.

Spencer Caldwell was working at ADCO Paint and Supply “and people would come into the paint store and ask how to do something,” Caldwell said.

So Caldwell started teaching automotive painting techniques at the back of the ADCO shop, then moved next door when that half of the building became available.

That was 3 1/2 years ago. Since then, he and his staff have taught more than 2,000 people how to do automotive painting in two-night class sessions, each session focusing on one of more than a dozen subjects, from Introduction to cut-and-buff and from scuff ’n’ shoot to restoration.

Classes are only $50 or $75. One way to keep them affordable is through car owners who pay the school for restoration work done by its students.

While most students have been retirees who want to work on their own cars, Caldwell said the school is working to launch a program to prepare high school- and college-age students for careers in auto painting and restoration.

From Glendale, the cars made their way a little way east to Phoenix for another two-in-one stop, and this time it was two businesses in one building since Steve Szymanski’s Industrial Chassis also is the home to Robert Hernandez’ Rabbit Hole Vintage Works.

Industrial Chassis is a fabrication shop with all sorts of metal-bending equipment (as well as equipment for rebuilding engines and more) while the Rabbit Hole specializes in Harley Davidson engine and transmission work and custom motorcycle builds.

From the northwest side of Phoenix, the tour headed back toward Scottsdale, stopping for lunch on Cave Creek Road at Street Rods by Auto Art, which is just a few steps away from Ramjet’s Speed Shop, a high-performance parts and accessories store.

After having cars sitting in his garage for a quarter-century awaiting work, Phill Beck launched the Auto Art Studio in Prescott, Ariz. The business moved to the north side of Phoenix in 2011 and does its builds under the Beck Custom Motorsports brand.

Although relocated to Phoenix, Beck still is loyal to Prescott, and his shop is helping with the Jesse Steed Memorial Project to honor one of the 19 firefighters who died fighting the Yarnell Hill blaze in 2013. Jesse Steed, captain of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots, had been restoring a 1957 GMC 4×4 pickup truck, and Street Rods by Auto Art is helping to complete the project.

The tour ended at the 5 and Diner restaurant at the Scottsdale Pavilions shopping center, where the Goodguys held their own mini-version of the huge and widely acclaimed Saturday night Pavilions car shows.



Goodguys launch 2014 season with Southwest Nationals

Photos by Larry Edsall
Photos by Larry Edsall

Their three-month winter break over, the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association opens its 2014 calendar with the fifth annual Spring Nationals, March 7-9 at the WestWorld complex in Scottsdale, Ariz.

In addition to a show field filled with more than a thousand hot rods and customized classic cars, the on-site Goodguys AutoCross will determine the first finalist for the Goodguys AutoCross Finals Shootout that will pit 32 cars and drivers against each other at the end of the 2014 season.

Last year, only 24 cars were included in the finals, won by Danny Popp of Cleveland in his 1972 Corvette. But this year the finals field expands to 32 as the Goodguys encourage members to have cars that go as well as they show.

autoxAlso new as the 2014 season opens will be the arrival at most Goodguys events of the new Chip Foose Experience, a semi full of Foose-built cars, memorabilia, collectibles and more. Foose himself will attend the Goodguys events at Del Mar, Calif. (April 4-6); Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; and Pleasanton, Calif., (August event).

Also being launched is the Goodguys’ own new 78-foot show rig.

Oh, and while the display at WestWorld opens on Friday, there’s a Hot Rod Cruise on Thursday hosted by the Over the Hill Gang (Phoenix Chapter) that will visit several shops and car collections before ending at the 5 & Diner restaurant at the Scottsdale Pavilions.

Also new on the Goodguys 2014 calendar will be the inaugural All American Nationals, April 25-27 at Orlando/Kissimmee, Fla., a Goodguys gathering June 6-8 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, and an event the following weekend, June 13-15, at the Big E in West Springfield, Mass.

2014 Goodguys Rod & Custom Association schedule

March 7-9 — 5th Spring Nationals, Scottsdale, Ariz.

March 14-16 — 4th Spring Lone Star Nationals, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas.

March 29-30 —  32nd All American Get-Together, Pleasanton, Calif.

April 4-6 — 14th Meguiars’s Del Mar Nationals, Del Mar, Calif.

April 25-27 — All American Nationals, Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee, Fla.

May 16-18 — 9th Nashville Nationals, LP Field, Tennessee Titan Stadium

May 31-June 1 — 21st Summer Get-Together, Pleasanton, Calif.

June 6-8 — 17th Colorado Nationals, Ranch Events Complex, Loveland, Colo.

also 6/6-8 — All American Nationals, Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis

June 13-15 — Grundy Worldwide Insurance All American Nationals, Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield, Mass.

July 4-6 — 23rd Heartland Nationals, Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines

July 11-13 — 17th PPG Nationals, Ohio Expo Center, Columbus, Ohio

July 25-27 — 27th Wesco Autobody Supply Pacific Northwest Nationals, Washington State Fair Event Center, Puyallup, Wash.

August 15-17 — 13th Great Northwest Nationals, Spokane, Wash.

August 22-24 — 28th West Coast Nationals, Pleasanton, Calif.

October 3-5 — 22nd Lone Star Nationals, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth

October 24-26 — 21st Southeastern Nationals, Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Carolina

November 8-9 — 25th Autumn Get-Together, Pleasanton, Calif.

November 14-16 — 17th Southwest Nationals, WestWorld, Scottsdale, Ariz.


Third auction joins Amelia Island lineup

Collection of Virgil Exner Imperial convertibles | Photo courtesy Hollywood Wheels
Collection of Virgil Exner Imperial convertibles | Photos courtesy Hollywood Wheels

There’s a new kid on the auction block this year at Amelia Island, where Hollywood Wheels joins RM and Gooding & Company with a third classic car sale.

Not that Hollywood Wheels is new to auction action. It’s been in business for going on a decade. And while this will be its first auction at Amelia Island, it is not the first time its owner has staged an event there.

“We went to Amelia Island last year with our Festivals of Speed event,” said Mike Flynn Jr., owner of Hollywood Wheels and a partner in the Festivals of Speed shows.

The Festivals of Speed are celebrations of exotic sports cars, designed so people with supercars can display them in a concours-style setting, and so car enthusiasts can see those cars and visit vendors offering an exhibition of automotive and luxury lifestyle products and services.

The inaugural Amelia Island Festival of Speed was held last year at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation, which was undergoing a massive renovation with 80,000 square feet of new facilities.

Seeing the potential in that additional indoor space, “We contracted for that space and decided to bring in the auction element this year,” Flynn said. Some 120 vehicles will be offered at the first Hollywood Wheels Amelia Island Select Motorcars & More sale March 8, but Flynn already is planning to expand the auction to two days and more than 200 cars in 2015.

“I’ve been a car collector since the 1980s,” Flynn said. “I got into the auction business in Fort Lauderdale after Kruse got out. We’ve done sales at the Palm Beach convention center twice a year for the last five years, a spring and a fall auction.

This is just another thing before Bill’s (Amelia Island concours founder Bill Warner’s) big show on Sunday.”

— Mike Flynn Jr.


“I’m a customer of RMs and Auctions America and Barrett-Jackson and Dana’s (Mecum Auctions), but to me there’s starting to be a void at Amelia. In Monterey you have five auctions and lots going on. Scottsdale is the same way, with five or six auctions and lots of stuff going on. At Amelia we brought the Festivals of Speed to add things to do.”

Now, he says, he’s adding more than 100 cars to those being offered by RM and Gooding & Company. He also said his auction will start at 2 p.m. Saturday March 8, about the time RM’s sale is winding down. The Festival of Speed is Friday and Saturday, March 7-8.

“All we’re doing is adding another 100 cars to the market. A couple hundred cars (at RM and Gooding) isn’t a lot on such a weekend. We’re just adding a few more handpicked cars for the customers who already are there,” Flynn said.

“We’re not a catalog auction. We’re not trying to mimic Rob (Myers) or David (Gooding), but we have great cars. We try go have something for everyone. They can be $25,000 cars or million-dollar cars, but something for everyone.

“We just want to enhance the whole Amelia Island experience. Everyone is there anticipating the concours on Sunday. This is just another thing before Bill’s (Amelia Island concours founder Bill Warner’s) big show on Sunday.”

Among the consignments for Hollywood Wheels’ inaugural Amelia Island auction is a group of 1957-61 Imperial Crown convertibles that will be offered as a single lot. Flynn said the cars were collected by a woman whose husband also was a car collector, but her interest was in the big convertibles designed by Virgil Exner when he led Chrysler’s design staff.

“She wants them to go to one collection or to a museum,” Flynn said. “They will be sold as one lot. Yes, it takes some buyers out, but we have had a lot of people and museums inquire about them.”

Watson Indy roadster
Watson Indy roadster

Also being offered is the first Indy-style roadster built by A.J. Watson, whose cars dominated the 500-mile race in the 1950s. This 1954 was built by Watson and Jud Philips for car owner Bob Estes.

“It was painted once but otherwise is all original,” Flynn said, adding that the car finished seventh in its rookie run at Indy, didn’t finish because of transmission troubles in 1955 but was third in 1956, “the last time it raced.”

The docket also includes the 2012 Bugatti Veyron in red and red displayed at the 2012 Frankfurt auto show, a Cadillac limo built for the president of the Dominican Republic, an all-original 1934 Covered Wagon camper trailer, a 1968 L88 Chevrolet Corvette, and several motorcycles, including the 1949 Triumph Trophy TR5 “Fonzie” Scrambler from the Happy Days television show, a pair of 1930s Brough Superiors (one with a sidecar), and a 1918 Harley-Davidson with a sidecar and single-family ownership.

Amelia Island Concours celebrates the rare and unusual

The 1960 Aston Martin DB4 GTZ will be among the Zagato-bodied cars on display. (Photo: Amelia Island Concours)
The 1960 Aston Martin DB4 GTZ will be among the Zagato cars on display. (Photo: Amelia Island Concours)

 On Sunday, March 9, the 19th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance brings its showcase of 300 rare and exotic automobiles to the fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at The Ritz-Carlton, Fla., for one of the most-beloved automotive events of the year.

The full celebration of great automobiles on Amelia Island takes place over three days, starting March 7 with a number of classic-car shows, auctions and seminars leading up to the main event, the Concours d’Elegance.

The Concours is held on the fairways of the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island. (Photo:
The Concours is held on the fairways of the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island. (Photo:

The Amelia Island Concours has turned into one of the world’s great concours events, as well as one of the biggest, which founder and chairman Bill Warner says can be challenging as well as gratifying.

“It’s just grown and grown and grown; it’s kind of taken on a life of its own,” Warner said in a telephone interview. “The first one we did here we put together in 90 days. We could never do that again. I did it by myself with a laptop.”

He certainly never expected to have 300 show cars on the field, Warner added. “I’m just a shameless car guy, and it’s hard to say no to some cars.”

Warner, who has become something of a celebrity himself in classic car circles, credits the show’s success to a focus on creativity and an eye for the unusual.

“We come up with ideas that we want to do before the other shows do them,” he said. “That’s always the challenge. We want to have cars that people haven’t seen before, so even the most jaded collector walks away saying, ‘I never knew that car existed.’ Then we’ve done our job.”

The unique American Underslung is the honored marque for 2014. (Photo:
The unique American Underslung is the honored marque for 2014. (Photo:

Amelia Island’s originality can be seen in its choice of honored marque for the 2014 concours: American Underslung, one of the most innovative automotive brands from the early days of motoring, produced by an auto company that existed from 1905-1914.

“We have 14 of them, which has to be a record,” Warner said of the beautifully unique Underslungs.

The honoree for the 2014 Amelia Island Concours is sports racer Jochen Mass and marks the 25th anniversary of his victory in the 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans driving a Mercedes-Benz Sauber C9. Mass will be a guest at the concours and is the subject of the event’s official poster by hot rod artist Tom Fritz.

Other special features for the 2014 edition of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance include:

A display of 16 significant McLaren race cars to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the competition marque, which remains the only racing entity to win the Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship, the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Can-Am series championship. Among the cars on display will be Johnny Rutherford’s Gulf and Mark Donohue’s Sunoco McLaren Indy racers and two Marlboro F1 cars, one of them the winner of the Spanish Grand Prix.

The 1956 Chrysler Diablo/Dart concept car. (Archive photo: Paul Gould)
The 1956 Chrysler Diablo/Dart. (Archive photo: Paul Gould)

A reunion of nine important Chrysler concept cars, featuring the Thunderbolt Roadster and dual-cowl Newport from 1941; the Chrysler Ghia, first shown at the 1952 Paris Motor Show; the 1952 Chrysler d’Elegance; 1954 La Comtesse, which has not been seen in public for more than a half century; 1955 Chrysler Falcon, designer Virgil Exner’s favorite concept car; 1956 Diablo/Dart; 1958 Hemi-powered Dual Ghia in original unrestored condition; and the famed 1963 Chrysler Turbine.

The Packard Concepts of Ralph Marano, comprising all 10 Packard show cars from the 1950s and marking the first time at Amelia Island that an entire class has been dedicated to cars from a single man’s collection.

A Zagato class that celebrates the beautifully aerodynamic performance cars with bodies by the Italian coach builder founded in 1919 by Ugo Zagato. Cars wearing the “Lightning Z” badge include those from Ferrari, Maserati, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Hispano-Suiza, Fiat, Rolls-Royce, Lancia, Lamborghini, MG, Bentley, Porsche, Spyker and Aston Martin, for which Zagato created the landmark DB4 GT Zagato.

The first BMW Art Car, a 3.0 CSL GT racer painted by acclaimed artist Alexander Calder to run in the 1975 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, is part of a special class of BMW “Batmobile” race cars. BMW race cars have been used as painting canvases in an annual tradition by such world-renowned artists as Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.

The Lautenschlager Mercedes won the 1914 French Grand Prix. (Archive photo: George Wingard)
The Lautenschlager Mercedes won the 1914 French Grand Prix. (Archive photo: George Wingard)

The historic Lautenschlager Mercedes race car that a century ago won the 1914 French Grand Prix, which was considered the “Race of the Century.”

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Maserati, the unique Maserati 450S Le Mans “Costin Coupe” raced by Stirling Moss in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1957 and dubbed by its Maserati mechanics as “Il Monstro,” Italian for “the monster.”

A magnificent aluminum-bodied 1930 Duesenberg Model J Speedster, a disappearing-top convertible with coachwork by the Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena, Calif., from the Gen. William Lyon Family collection. The Amelia Island appearance will be the Duesenberg’s first showing on the East Coast.

A pair of seminars with panels featuring some of the most-legendary names in racing will take place during the three days of Amelia Island. The Great Offy Drivers Seminar features a celebration of Offenhauser-powered race cars Friday, March 7, at 3 p.m., and The Merchants of Speed seminar, which explores the hidden world of motorsports management, will be offered Saturday, March 8, starting at 10:30 a.m.

A third collector-car auction, Hollywood Wheels, has been added to the docket, joining RM Auctions and Gooding & Company that hold sales prior to the Concours d’Elegance. Gooding happens March 7 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation; RM has its sale March 8 in the Grand Ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton Resort; and Hollywood Wheels takes place March 8 at the Omni Amelia, though at a later time than the RM event.

Other events happening during the Amelia Island weekend include a concours-vehicle road tour Friday morning, automotive art shows, manufacturer test drives, vendors and receptions.

For a listing of times and events at Amelia Island, see

Oktoberfest comes early this year: BMW, Porsche, Mercedes fill Gooding catalog for Amelia Island auction

An array of BMWs ready to cross the block | Photo courtesy Gooding & Company
An array of BMWs ready to cross the block | Photos courtesy Gooding & Company

Gooding & Company will parade 98 cars across the block at its annual auction on Florida’s Amelia Island. This year, more than 40 of those cars were produced between 1955 and 1988 in Germany.

“The build quality is being appreciated 30, 40 years on,” said Garth Hammers, a car specialist for the auction company.

“There’s no question that Mercedes-Benz and Porsche cars are doing extremely well at the moment,” he added. “This year we’re adding to the mix BMW. Personally, I think it’s high time.”

Post-war European sports cars have been strong sellers at the high-end classic car auctions in recent months, with Porsches in particular accelerating in price.

Hammers said he recalled reading the phrase “inherent rightness” as a description of a design that carried Porsche from the early 356 through the current 911.

“They didn’t follow anybody else’s lead,” he said. “They were going to do it this way, and it’s brilliant. And they’re still going.”

Hammers said that BMW “also was its own company. You’re not going to find a lot of cross pollination.”

And at Gooding’s Amelia Island sale, which takes place March 7, you’re going to see an amazing spectrum of BMW products, most of them from the same collection.

“We’re very happy to have this group,” Hammers said, adding that while there are more BMWs in the auction than any other marque, the cars run the range of the brand.

You can get something for ‘cars and coffee’ for $25,000 or you can spend half-a-milion.”

— Garth Hammers


“There’s a bit of synergy about them,” he said of having such a large group of Bimmers in a single auction. “They add interest to each other.

“This really is truly a something for everyone group.” he said. “They exist across the really serviceable price points. You can get something for ‘cars and coffee’ for $25,000 or you can spend half-a-milion.” Or more.

To be presented as Lots 11 through 28, with their own color-keyed section of the auction catalog, the pre-auction estimates for the various BMWs range from as little as $12,000 for a 1960 BMW 700 coupe to as much as $1.8 million for a 1958 BMW 507 Series II roadster.

In between are Isettas, a 1958 501 A sedan, a 503 coupe, a 1600 GT,a 1602, a couple of 2000s (one a coupe, one a sedan), a 2002 convertible, a 3200 CS, a 3.0 CSL, an M6 and an M1.

And then there are the Porsches — 14 of them. Well, 15 if you count a British-built March race car powered by a Porsche engine. But don’t expect to find any $25K cruise-in specials among them, though the pre-auction estimate on a Reuter-bodied 1964 356 SC coupe is fewer than six figures. And that’s the only Porsche in the auction for which that statement is true.

Either the 1958 356A Reuter coupe or the 1969 911 2.0E figures to cost someone at least $100K. Double that for a 1973 911 2.4 S or the 1967 911 2.0 S soft-window targa formerly owned by rally champion John Buffum.

The 1983 March-Porsche 83G GTP car that Al Holbert and co-drivers took to victory in the 24 Hours of Daytona figures to push near the million-dollar plateau, with a 1973 911 Carrera 2.7 RS lightweight and a 1988 959 Sport be seven-figure sales.

And then there are the 1959 718 RSK and 1968 907 “longtail;” each figures to sell for around $3 million.

The Wendler-bodied RSK raced successfully for several seasons on the American sports car circuit, as well as in Cuba and Nassau. The longtail won the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1968 (Vic Elford was one of the five drivers taking turns in the car during that race) and competed four times at Le Mans.

Among the Mercedes at the Gooding auction are a 1957 300 SL roadster, a stunning ’55 300 SC roadster, and a 2005 SLR McLaren.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 Sc roadster.
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 Sc roadster.

Oh, and there’s one other post-war German sports car to cross the block, a 1955 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia, this one among the very early cars and thus a “low-light” because of the placement of its headlamps.

But the Gooding sale isn’t an all-German affair. The catalog includes six Ferraris. Among them are an unrestored1965 250 Europa GT owned by one family for 45 years; a pair of 1972 365 GTB/4 Daytonas, and a trio of Dinos — a one-owner ’69 206 GT, a ’72 246 GT and a ’74 246 GTS.

“We really want to cover the whole hobby,” Hammers said. “Antiques if we can, classics certainly, and some of the special-interest cars. But more and more, it’s European and sports and racing of the ‘50s, ‘60s and now the ‘70s.”

The oldest cars in the auction are a 1906 American Tourist and  a 1909 ALCO 40-horsepower runabout. There also are a 1913 Pierce-Arrow 48-B, a 1930 Avions Voisin C14 Berline, a 1930 Minerva AL three-position cabriolet, a 1932 Cadillac V16 452B Madame X Imperial sedan, four 1920s and 1930s Rolls-Royces, a 1956 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America, four Jaguars, three Corvettes, and even a 1967 MGB and a 1968 Datsun 1600 roadster.


Long-term ownership cars emerge as a theme for RM sale at Amelia Island

Aerial view of RM auction site | 2013 photo by Darin Schnabel courtesy RM
Aerial view of RM auction site | 2013 photo by Darin Schnabel courtesy RM

As Gord Duff, a car specialist for RM Auctions, got to talking about the various vehicles that will be offered at the company’s sale March 8 at Amelia Island, he stopped his words for a realization.

“There’s a little bit of a theme going on with long-term ownership,” he said. “And it’s not just any car, but some of the best cars in their own right.”

For example?

For example, a 1965 R-model Shelby GT350 that not only is the winningest of its ilk but has been owned by the consignor since 1967.

Or a Dietrich-bodied 1932 Packard Twin Six individual custom convertible sedan being offered for the first time in more than 30 years.

Or that among the 16 cars being offered from the Malcolm Pray Collection are some that Pray owned for more than 45 years.

“The longer somebody’s owned a car makes it that much more special for the buyers,” Duff said.

“Not to everybody, but it makes a difference to certain clients,” he added. “You’d rather be the second or third owner than the 10th owner. You’d rather buy a car with long-term ownership than one that’s traded hands every few years.”

In the case of the ’65 Shelby GT350, it tics several boxes — long-term ownership, racing history (a big deal because of the importance of racing cars at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance), and 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Mustang itself.

Driven by well-known American sports car racer Charlie Kemp, the No. 23 B/Production Shelby won 17 consecutive races during the 1968 and 1969 seasons and clocked 184 miles per hour at Daytona, fastest speed ever for a 289-powered Shelby — and that includes Shelby Cobras, the RM auction catalog notes.

“With race cars that were very successful, they also may have crashed a lot,” Duff said, “but this one is pretty clean.” Indeed, the catalog notes that the car, with a pre-auction estimate of $900,000 to $1.2 million, still wears “remarkably original” bodywork.

As for the ’32 Packard, it’s been part of the Bob and Sandra Bahre Collection for some three decades. Carrying the same pre-auction estimate as the Kemp Shelby, the V-windshield Packard is one of no more than six such cars built with Dietrich coachwork. Duff noted that while the car was restored around 25 years ago, “you’d swear it was done a year or two ago it has been looked after so well.”

And then there are the cars from the Pray Collection. Pray, who died last August at the age of 84, was an early Volkswagen and Porsche dealer who at one point also owned the largest Saab and Audi dealerships in the U.S. He was a benefactor to organizations working to mentor and motivate youth through Scouting and other programs.

Cars from his collection crossing the block at RM’s Amelia sale include a 1958 BMW 507 Series II roadster, a 1938 SS 100 Jaguar roadster, a 1935 Amilcar Type G36 Pegase boattail roadster, a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Series II cabriolet, a 1937 Bugatti Type 57C roadster, and a 1937 Delahaye 135 Competition Court torpedo roadster with Figoni et Falaschi bodywork.

While several of those are seven-figure cars, Pray’s cars also include several five-figure vehicles, among them a 1941 Ford Super Deluxe woody wagon and a 1948 Lincoln Continental cabriolet.

It is fitting to sell his cars here.”

— Gord Duff


“He had some fabulous cars,” Duff said. “Not all were concours quality, but to purchase them off the second owner, those opportunities become less and less.”

Duff added that Pray was both a regular participant at Amelia Island concours and a long-time client of RM.

“It is fitting to sell his cars here,”Duff said.

Pray’s is not the only collection being offered at the RM auction. Several cars, including an alloy-bodied 1949 Jaguar XK120 roadster, are being offered from the estate of Charles R. Swimmer of San Diego.

Also crossing the block will be a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster, one of only 25 with original Rudge wheels. Originally, this one was owned by actress Natalie Wood, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Rebel Without a Cause. She bought the car when she was 19 years.

The car was a silver blue color, but the teenage actress had it repainted pink, though she left the original red interior as is. The car subsequently was restored to its original factory color.

The one-day sale includes 93 vehicles, ranging alphabetically from a 1947 Allard K1 roadster to a 1929 Willys-Knight 66B “Plaidside” roadster, and chronologically from a 1901 De Dion-Bouton New York-type Motorette to a 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren roadster.

Is Philly unique in including classics at its annual new-car auto show?

AACA displays a 1932 Auburn 8-100A Phaeton  at Philly auto show | Photo by Larry Nutson
AACA displays a 1932 Auburn 8-100A Phaeton at Philly auto show | Photo by Larry Nutson

The Philadelphia Auto Show had its start back to 1902. Each February the show not only treats visitors to all the newest and hottest vehicles on the market today, but gives them a look back at some of the classics of the years past.

The Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia (ADAGP) has produced the Philly auto show since 1997. The dealers felt there was a need to show every aspect of the automotive world, whether that’s pre-production models, a trip down memory lane with a display of classics, or the opportunity for people to dream in the exotics display. Thus those attending the show get to experience both favorite vehicles of yesteryear as well as those of the future.

We always find it equally important to pay homage to our favorite vehicles from yesteryear.”

— Mike Gempp


“The Philadelphia Auto Show has always been known to have something for everyone,” explained Mike Gempp, Philadelphia Auto Show director. “We take great pride in promoting all of the current vehicle options consumers have today.

“However, we always find it equally important to pay homage to our favorite vehicles from yesteryear as well as some of the most exotic vehicles ever designed. We find that by showcasing all facets of the automotive industry, including past, present and future, it gives our attendees the ultimate entertainment experience.”

The Philadelphia area is fortunate to have a number of classic car organizations and museums nearby. They are invited to be a part of the event. Each organization is responsible for selecting the vehicles it brings to display.

At the just completed 2014 Philadelphia Auto Show, classics from the Simeone Automotive Museum, the Buckingham Concours d’Elegance and the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) where displayed.

Photos by Larry Nutson

“Being part of the Philadelphia Auto Show gives us a unique opportunity to reach a large segment of people who are obviously interested in cars,” said Harry Hurst, communications director for the Simeone Automotive Museum. “We have found this show attracts an audience that is different from our traditional automotive and racing enthusiast. The auto show brings a wide spectrum of attendees, both old and young, and families and singles. It’s a great way to spread the word about the museum to people who would not otherwise hear about us.”

Another popular feature at the Philly Auto Show is the “Face-Off,” which this year matched up Ford Muscle vs. Mopar Muscle. This event is produced by Carlisle Events. Show visitors get to vote on their favorite muscle cars.

Annually, from early fall, through the winter and into spring, auto manufacturers and their dealers host a multitude of auto shows around the country, all intended to both inform and entertain the American car buying public. But the Philadelphia International Auto Show may be unique with its inclusion of a broad display of antique and classic automobiles that also serves to educate.

In addition to those already mentioned, also in the Philadelphia area are the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, America on Wheels Museum in Allentown, and the AACA Museum in Hershey. Also noteworthy is the Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance that takes place in September.

Editor’s note: Does your local new-car auto show include any classics? If so, please use the Feedback form to let us know so we can let everyone know about it.


Max’d-out Porsches to be featured at Griot’s Garage Caffeine & Gasoline

Photos courtesy Griot's Garage
Photos courtesy Griot’s Garage

Griot’s Garage is known for meeting the car care needs of classic and contemporary car owners. But it meets some of those folks’ other needs the first Saturday of each month when it hosts Caffeine & Gasoline at its workshop in Tacoma, Wash.

On March 1, Griot’s will provide the coffee and Hagerty Insurance will sponsor the free donuts as the monthly cruise-in.

But Griot’s gatherings are more than just the typical cruise-in. Each has a theme, and each includes some sort of demonstration or educational experience that includes a significant amount of noise. For example, here’s a video from a recent Caffeine & Gasoline gathering:

The theme this month is Porsche, well, not only Porsche but Porsche (and other marques) as tweaked by MaxRPM, the motorsports and high-performance tuning shop from Bremerton, Wash. MaxRPM will bring several cars it has enhanced and also will do a tuning tech session to share some of its secrets.DSC_0158

Also featured will be several of Richard Griot’s own Porsches, including a 1973 911S.

Griot hosts Caffeine & Gasoline the first Saturday of each month. The theme for April will be Ford Mustang as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. In May, the gathering will be a showcase for vintage police, fire and military vehicles.

LA Lit Meet lights up Porsche fanatics

Vintage Porsche toys, posters and parts are among the LA Lit Meet’s offerings. (Illustration: LA Lit and Toy Show)
Vintage Porsche toys, posters and parts are among the LA Lit Meet’s offerings. (Illustration: LA Lit and Toy Show)

For Porsche fanatics, it’s known simply as the LA Lit Meet. That serves to sum up the unbridled Porsche frenzy that hits the Los Angeles area next week.

The main event is the 31th annual Los Angeles Porsche and Vintage VW Literature, Toy and Memorabilia Show, which takes place March 1 at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton hotel. Hundreds of vendors spread a sweeping collection of primarily Porsche items – advertising and press materials, toys and models, books and technical literature, original factory documents, steering wheels and trim pieces, and a wide variety of collector’s items.

It’s massive and it attracts passionate Porsche people from around the world, so the social aspect becomes almost as engaging as the event itself. The emphasis is on early Porsche sports cars and competition models, and there’s quite a contingent questing for 356 and early 911 artifacts as well as racing posters and other pieces from the 1950s-’70s glory days of Porsche racing .

Admission is $10, but savvy shoppers pony up $30 for an early-bird ticket that gets you in the door and at the goodies just as the dealers are setting up. For more information, see

Porsche shops, such as AutoKennel in Costa Mesa, will host open houses. (Photo: AutoKennel)
Porsche shops, such as AutoKennel in Costa Mesa, will host open houses. (Photo: AutoKennel)

But that’s only part of the multi-day extravaganza. The experience includes a series of informal open houses at Porsche restoration shops stretching from San Diego to north of Los Angeles from Thursday through Saturday after the Lit Show, including such famed venues (to Porsche folk) as Wilhoit Auto Restorations, Sierra Madre Collection, AutoKennel, Callas Rennsport, Steve Hogue Enterprises, European Collectibles, Liberty Motorsports and Carparc USA.

Another major happening occurs Sunday with the All-Porsche Swap and Car Display presented by the 356 Club of Southern California. For adherents of the classic tubs, this is the main draw of the schedule.

Located at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, the swap meet harkens to the days before the Internet when hobbyists and restorers trolled through acres of parts and pieces for just the right original bit. It also serves as a gathering place for the Porsche faithful to meet and greet.

There’s an 11,500-square-foot indoor area for swap tables as well as some two acres of adjacent swap-meet area. There also is a large soccer field to display cars for sale. All in all, a mad jumble of stuff that celebrates the booming interest in early Porsches.

For the run of Porsche-shop open houses and more information about the Sunday swap meet, see related events.